We are just passing the mid-way mark in the Pakistan Super League 2022 and the way the tournament is poised at the moment, we are up for an exciting second half. Multan Sultans are still reigning supreme at the top of the points table and the competition is stiff in the middle of the ladder. The next few matches are going to be incredibly important in determining the course of the tournament.
Up next in the competition, Lahore Qalandars are set to take on Quetta Gladiators in a match that holds high importance for both these sides. They are both still striving hard to break out of the mid-table muddle and a win her could help massively. This upcoming match is set to be played at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Sunday, 13th February 2022.
LAHORE QALANDARS VS QUETTA GLADIATORS TEAM PREVIEWS
With a massive win over in their previous match, Lahore Qalandars became the first side in the competition to get past Multan Sultans. It was not an easy thing to do, but the Qalandars did their job to perfection. They are currently in an excellent position to inch towards an early playoff spot and a win here in this upcoming match helps them a long way.
As it currently stands on the points table, Lahore Qalandars are placed second with four wins from six matches. The two matches they lost were pretty close encounters, which could have gone any way, but Lahore ended up as the second best side on both those occasions. This is apparent from their net run rate as well, which currently is 0.717.
Lahore’s bowlers are their strength but were struggling in the first half of the tournament. However, as the tournament has progressed, their bowlers have started getting into the groove. We saw Rashid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Haris Rauf all amongst the wickets against the Sultans. They will take confidence from these matches into the next match and could prove to be very difficult to score against.
On paper, Lahore Qalandars have an immaculately balanced side with presence of experience right through the lineup. The likes of David Wiese, Fakhar Zaman, and Mohammad Hafeez have been brilliant thus far and will have a key role to play against Quetta Gladiators as well. All in all, the Qalandars have an excellent side on paper and with the momentum gained from their win over the Sultans, they will be brimming with confidence. If they are able to produce a repeat of their performance last night’s performance, beating them is going to be incredibly difficult.
Quetta Gladiators may not have been at their best in the tournament thus far, but they have done well to stay relevant so far. They are led by one of the most experienced captains in Pakistan’s cricket and that has helped them leaps and bounds. Another win here will push them at a spot higher on the ladder and that is what they will be aiming for.
Currently on the points table, Quetta Gladiators are placed at the fourth spot with three wins and three losses. They have blown hot and cold so far and it is just the time that they need to get some consistency to move ahead in the pecking order. The good thing is that they still have a reasonably good net run rate of 0.033, which can be important should things get tight towards the end of the league stage.
After getting off to a rather poor start, the Gladiators have done well to get back to the position they are currently in. In fact, they are coming into this match on the back of a couple of back to back wins and will be brimming with confidence. Also, the fact that they have scored high totals more often than not speaks volumes about how good their batting has been. However, their bowlers will need to step-up their game going into the second half of the competition.
On paper, the Gladiators have a decent side with the likes of Jason Roy and James Vince doing well. Besides, they bat deep with the presence of all-rounders in Mohmmad Nawaz, Shahid Afridi, and James Faulkner. They defeated Lahore Qalandars when the two teams met last time and that should add to their confidence. Having said that, they do appear to be a bit over-reliant on the likes of Roy and Vince to score quickly at the top. All in all, the Gladiators will need to bring out their A-game against the Qalandars and if they can do that, they will be a very difficult side to deal with.
LAHORE QALANDARS VS QUETTA GLADIATORS MATCH DETAILS:
Match: Lahore Qalandars vs Quetta Gladiators, Match 20, Pakistan Super League 2022.
Date and Time: February 13 2022, Sunday; 08:00 PM IST.
Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
The pitch at the Gaddafi Stadium is a belter. Batters enjoy batting on this deck, as they can play their strokes freely, but bowlers will need to be disciplined with their lines and lengths. A high scoring affair could ensue on Sunday.
The temperature on matchday is expected to range between 9 and 22 degrees celsius. There is little chance of rain on Sunday, so a full game is expected.
PROBABLE XI LAHORE QALANDARS
Fakhar Zaman continued his rich form with the bat, as he top-scored with 60 to help his team put up 182 runs on the board. Zaman Khan picked up three wickets in response as the Qalandars knocked over the Sultans for 130.
Shahid Afridi and James Faulkner picked up two wickets apiece, but United posted a mammoth 199 runs on the board. Fifties from Jason Roy (54) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (50*) and a cameo from Umar Akmal (23 runs off eight deliveries) got them over the line in the last over.
Both teams are coming off wins in their previous fixtures. The Qalandars beat table-toppers Sultans comprehensively, whereas the Gladiators got the better of United in a nail-biting contest. It should be a cracker of a contest when the Qalandars meet the Gladiators on Sunday.
Lahore Qalandars look like a settled unit, so expect them to come out on top on Sunday.
Prediction: Lahore Qalandars to win this game.